Cronos, the Crypto.com-developed blockchain network with a focus on decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web 3 gaming, is providing funding and guidance for early-stage blockchain projects, it said today.
The Cronos Accelerator Program, funded by the $100 million Cronos Labs Ecosystem Fund, will provide investments of $100,000 to $300,000 in early-stage projects and additional grant funding for security audits, node services and gas fees. The program will also pair startups with mentors and provide weekly workshops on topics associated with protocol building. In addition, participating startups can explore investment opportunities with Cronos’ VC partners.
Cronos plans to select three or four cohorts per year, with 10 startups per cohort, to participate in the 10-week program, with the first being expected in July.
Participating projects can expect to raise between from $500,000 to $2 million in initial investments from Cronos labs and third-party investors, according to Cronos Managing Director Ken Timsit.
Timsit says the startup program aims to nurture projects that appeal to users of crypto spaces.
“We are looking for what we think Cronos users and, more broadly, the users of the crypto ecosystem, would be interested in, such as products that are easy to understand, easy to use and to unlock,” Timsit told CoinDesk.
Startup founders don’t have to come to the program with a fully fleshed-out project, Timsit said.
“Not all projects are fully formed, and it’s very unlikely that the project, in the end, is going to look like what the pitch deck looks like at the application stage,” Timsit told CoinDesk. “But what will make a difference is whether the founder and co-founders have a track record of figuring things out and delivering [products].”
The Cronos Accelerator has partnered with several companies that will support participating projects through investments, mentorship and workshops, including Mechanism Capital, Spartan Labs, IOSG Ventures, OK Blockchain Capital, AP Capital, Altcoin Buzz and Dorahacks.
Cronos has begun connecting with potential startups for the program by hosting hackathons, attending Web 3 industry events and talking about the program with their network.
Ella Qiang, vice president of Cronos, said speaking with startup founders at various industry events confirmed the company’s suspicions that many promising startups lacked the tools to execute their visions and achieve sustainable growth.
“We realized that while many [projects] have high potential, they may not have all the tools they need to stand out and build sustainable tokenomics,” said Qiang in a press release. “We want to provide the necessary support for early-stage projects and accelerate their growth on Cronos.”
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